452: Learning to deal with Catastrophic Thinking

In this episode, we're talking about how to handle catastrophic thoughts with breathing, creative activities and mindfulness. Listen in to hear our personal tips and tactics for calming our own unruly thoughts.

Points covered in this episode: 

There are several ways to tackle catastrophic thoughts and we’ll go through a few together in this episode.

The first priority is to look after our own mental health and mental hygiene

We had a saying in computer programming back in the 80s “garbage in, garbage out” and it’s the same with the mind.

If we are we are watching dramatic movies and entertainment we are feeding drama into our mind and that provokes anxiety based thinking

Anything that increases adrenaline, even playing games on your phone, if you watch the response in your body you will notice that although we’re interacting with a tiny screen we get very invested in those experiences and can feel tension, stress, anticipation, a racing heart, or light headed as a result.

And anything that spikes adrenaline also stirs up our mind and provokes racing thoughts, so it’s important to watch out for those things especially if you’re watching entertainment that touches on sensitive areas for you because that can be triggering.

A number of people in our private Facebook group have mentioned that violent movies affect them.

So number one is: be very careful that’s what you put in your head.

Consider reducing:

*news bulletins

*intense movies and drama series

*games that increase adrenalin

Practices to go beneath the waves of the mind

 When the mind is stirred up it’s like a stormy sea. On the surface the waves are churning and rolling, but beneath the waves it’s calm and quiet. Immersing yourself in a meditative practice is one way to go beneath the waves of the mind to a calmer internal space.

How to use your breath for slowing racing thoughts

Our breathing and the rate of our thoughts have a close relationship, if your breathing is fast and shallow it can stir up your thoughts and increase your stress, but if you learn to notice your breath and slow it down, you can reign your thoughts in and calm your mind. In this episode, we talk about a few ways you can do that.

One very simple technique is to walk to a window, look outside, as far into the distance as you can and take one single, slow, deep breath and release it in a long exhalation.

You could try this several times a day, using any window you see as a cue to stop for a second or two, drop your shoulders, and breathe. Be fully aware of your breath, feel it enter and leave your lungs and allow yourself to feel how it calms you for that one moment of reflective pause.

Journaling for clearing and peace

Journaling is especially helpful if your mind is stuck on one specific catastrophic story. Getting that story out of your head and onto the page is a good first step to clearing it. Once your anxiety story is on the page you could use EFT Tapping to diffuse it. Working with an EFT Coach can help you put your catastrophic story to rest and feel more peace in your mind.